LAFAYETTE — If Jay Domengeaux seems somewhat incredulous about the attention his Lafayette High football team is receiving, his feelings might be understandable.
Sure, the recognition antennae has been raised.
After all, Lafayette High is 3-0.
Looking backward, however, his team’s situation is not much different than 2013, Domengeaux said.
The Lions were 2-1 back then, Domengeaux indicates.
“It’s funny,” he said. “People are reacting as if we’re in a completely different situation than we were last year. Last year we were 2-1, and we lost in double overtime to Kaplan.
“We weren’t in a terribly different position last year. The difference is last year we were decimated with injuries.”
Lafayette, however, ended last season 2-8. Since 2009, the best LHS has done is 5-5 in 2012.
Now the Lions enter their difficult District 3-5A schedule Friday night at Acadiana, a team that also runs the veer.
If there has been a big difference in this year, it’s probably been because of the defense, Domengeaux said.
LHS has allowed 20 points in three games, something that has aided an offense that has scored 100 points.
Nine starters return off last year’s defense, and so far the Lions haven’t needed that much concentrated assistance from team trainers, Domengeaux said.
The defense played a key role Sept. 11 in a 40-7 win at Opelousas.
Lafayette and Opelousas were tied at 7 late in the second period, and some second-half defensive adjustments aided a Lions’ third-quarter surge.
While the spotless start is pleasant, Domengeaux said he’s cautioned his team not to lose touch with reality.
“The big thing is, how do we respond from this point forward,” he said.
Lafayette plays in a district that features Acadiana, Barbe and Carencro, who have traded places as perennial champions.
This year even Sam Houston is off to a 3-0 start, Domengeaux said, making the Lions’ climb to the upper level of the league, a bit more difficult.
Domengeaux, 13-20 at Lafayette, is running the Lions version of a splitback offense, something he said is not particularly new for the program.
He was Lafayette’s offensive coordinator under former LHS coach Bobby Green when the Lions used a split black concept, Domengeaux said.
“We don’t do everything in the same spirit as what Acadiana does (with the veer),” Domengeaux said. “I have quizzed (Acadiana coach Ted Davidson) on occasions. I would be crazy not to. We look at what Ted and them do and what J.T. (Curtis) does at (John) Curtis and see what people who are running it are effective with.”.
“It’s what we do. We don’t have anything else to add to (the veer). Every now and then we add a wrinkle to it. We’ve gotten better at execution. As far as getting bigger with the system, we are about where we want to be.”
Acadiana and Lafayette have always engaged in a spirited rivalry, since the schools are located only several stoplights apart.
It’s no different this season, although the intensity of the matchup is probably not as heightened as it once was, Domengeaux said.
“It’s big, but it’s not where they’re painting animal (statues in the front of the schools) and doing wheelies” Domengeaux said. “You don’t have as bad a blood as there used to be. Half of the players went to middle school together, so we share those kids. Make no mistake, though, the rivalry still exists.”
So what has it been like, getting a football program to flourish at Lafayette High?
“Every place has its problems, its deficiencies,” Domengeaux said. “There are some things that are tougher than I thought they would be and some things that are unknown.
“There are a lot of things I expected to be tough. We’re in a tough district, year in and year out. It’s always a battle.”